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    Free Essay
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    Stammering toddler

     

    Some parents have the shock of hearing their young child start stammering as a toddler. I am somebody who runs a speech centre in Birmingham, England, I now help people to achieve fluency. I met a lady who was thirty and her little boy aged four had been stammering for quite a while. She had taken him to speech therapy and was extremely anxious as to why he was stammering. It had possibly started because the toddlers father had quite a severe stammer, the boy may of picked up the bad habits this way. Many other people contact me asking why their toddler has developed a stammer and asking what forms of stammering treatments are available. I always suggest that they keep as patient as they can and try to play games, speech games with their child. They can challenge the child to say the word fluently, they show their child how it should be said and then bet them that they can't do it themselves. When they do manage to say that particular word fluently they then heap lots of praise onto the child, telling them how clever they are and how proud mommy and daddy are of them. I even advise giving them an award like a small chocolate bar. If instead of being patient parents or relatives are aggressive, saying things like: "Get your words boy" "Spit it out!" These types of comments can have a very negative effect and make that child withdraw into their shell. This may to some people seem very obvious to say, however you would not believe the amount of people who have told me this is what they were told as an infant. Stephen Hill

         
    Standardized testing teaching tips

     

    Standardized tests can be very stressful for children. Here, therefore, are some tips for parents and children that may help. Before the Test...for Parents and Children 1. Have children study every night during the year so they will understand the material as their teacher is presenting it. Clear up any confusion as they go. This will make them confident in their knowledge and lead to a review for the test rather than to learning new information. 2. The night before the test, do something that is fun to help keep them calm. All their heavy studying should be complete by then! 3. Of course, they should get a good night's sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and leave for school with a positive attitude and confidence in themselves. Parents, that's where you can help immensely! Wish your children luck, give them a high five, let them know you believe in them...whatever it takes to lessen the pressure. 4. Pupils should ask their teacher if guessing will hurt their score. Sometimes, students are penalized for guessing. 5. Both children and parents, remember... no one is expected to make 100%! All that children can do is their best. Encourage them to do so. During the Test...for Children 1. Read to understand each question carefully. Then read ALL the choices you are given. 2. Monitor your time. If you get stuck on a question, do not spend too much time on it. Concentrate on answering the questions you know for sure and then go back to the others if there is more time. REMEMBER: If you do this, put your answer in the right space on the bubble sheet! You should already know if guessing will hurt you. 3. If you get nervous, shut your eyes, take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. I hope these suggestions are useful. GOOD LUCK!!

         
    Start your child s education early

     

    Studies have shown that the most important period of a child’s life is their first five years. Children are capable of learning from a very early age, so it is ideal to expose them to a nurturing and educational environment during those years. By providing an environment that is fun-filled, safe and stimulating, you can ensure that your child gets off to a great start. While adults typically think of play-time as a form of entertainment, it can actually teach your child a great deal about themselves and the world around them. Believe it or not, playing peek-a-boo is actually beneficial for your child. The earlier a child develops these skills, the more significant the long term impact will be. Self-esteem, confidence, coordination, problem-solving skills, and social skills, are but a few examples of the benefits that can be gained through play. Self esteem can be enhanced by responding affectionately to your child’s actions. Whether they coo, gurgle, burp, cry or smile, giving your child a positive reaction and providing lots of enthusiasm will have incredible benefits. Physical coordination can be developed by changing your child’s position, and allowing him/her the opportunity to move about. Encourage movement and mobility at an early age by placing toys and objects a short distance away from your child. Giving your child different toys with different shapes, textures and colors will encourage interaction and help develop physical coordination. There are many toys on the market specifically designed to stimulate creative thought and action. Playing hide-and-seek can help your child develop problem solving skills. By placing a toy behind your back and encouraging your baby to find it, you will give your child an early appreciation for cause and effect. Also by giving a baby a rattle, the baby will comprehend they can make noise by themselves if they shake it. An understanding of cause and effect will put your child on the right path to a lifetime of learning. As your child grows older, consider giving your child some household duties or chores. A child as young as two can start to learn the meaning of responsibility. Use the word “special” frequently and give them age-appropriate tasks such as handing out napkins at the dinner table. Be sure to encourage your child through positive affirmation of his/her actions. The following are other general tips to enhance the developmental stages of your young child’s life: • Go to the library with your child to pick out a book, and then read it together. • Encourage your child to explore arts and crafts to develop their creative side. • The internet is a great educational tool for children. There are some great sites out there! • Watch TV with your child and talk about what they see on screen. • Buy them educational toys. • Allow your child the opportunity to interact with other children regularly.

         
    Statistics on children hit by cars

     

    In the early 1970s, almost 9 out of 10 children living within one mile of school mainly used “active transportation” to get to school. However, that figure has drastically changed. As of 2001, only 63% of children used that same mode to travel the same distance to school. This decline has been attributed to several factors, such as traffic danger, neighborhood crime, and the distance to school. The results have been astounding. Automobile usage to and from schools has roughly tripled from 1969 to 2001. In fact, during the school year, the quantity of vehicles on the road between 7:15 AM-8:15 AM increases 30%. Furthermore, during the school year, 20-25% of morning traffic is comprised of parents who are driving their children to various schools. Interestingly, while the volume of traffic has skyrocketed during recent decades, the rate of child pedestrian traffic deaths has actually decreased! The number of deaths per 1000,000 children was slightly less than 1.5 children, in 1995. By 2002, the figure had dropped slightly over 0.5 children. Similarly, that rate of child pedestrian traffic injuries also decreased during the same period. In fact, the figure was nearly halved during that time! Another interesting statistic is that the pedestrian injury and death rate among children aged 14-years-old and younger, dropped about 50% from 1987-2000, while the same injury and date rate for bicyclists dropped 60%. Some experts have attributed these figures to the corresponding decrease in bicycling and walking among children. Also, these promising figures do not reduce or nullify the need to slow down traffic to improve street safety for kids! Some other fascinating statistics involving children being hit by cars include: • A 1999 national study revealed that about two-thirds of drivers broke posted speed limits in school zones, within 30 minutes proceeding and proceeding school hours. • A national study revealed that numerous motorists at intersections in school zones and housing neighborhoods disobeyed stop signs. This fact further stresses the need to slow down traffic to augment street safety for kids! • Parents of students hit zero percent of children who are hit by vehicles nearby schools. Yes, zero percent! Numerous statistics reveal an array of outstanding vehicles that have been manufactured. Nonetheless the figures with the most validity slow down traffic to advance street safety for kids!

         
    Sticks and stones are you unintentionally driving your child away

     

    : So I was sitting in my office surfing the web, uh, I mean, working, when a voice on the street in front of my house attracted my attention. Being the nosy and ever vigilant I-work-from-home-so-I-know-everything-that-happens-around-here sort of busybody, I jumped right to the window to preserve my know-it-all status. Two boys, from the size of them probably in ninth or tenth grade, were sitting on their bikes in the middle of the street talking to a woman in a red minivan. At first I thought, oh, how sweet, they are giving her directions!

    And then her voice rang out strong and clear. She pointed her finger at the taller one. (Ever notice how uncomfortable it is to be pointed at? It’s like the finger is a ray gun, and directs all that icky stuff right at you in a powerful stream.) Anyway, up into my window comes her voice. AND YOU! YOU GET YOURSELF HOME RIGHT THIS MINUTE AND CLEAN UP THAT ROOM!! IT’S A PIGSTY, YOU LAZY A--. And then she sped away. He shouted out MOM! and tapped on the side window of the van as it left, but she zoomed ahead without looking back. Sheepishly, with hunched shoulders and downcast eyes, he and his buddy turned their bikes towards home. I felt so keenly his embarrassment at being humiliated in front of his friend. I couldn’t hear what else he said, but I did hear him repeat the words that broke my heart, and surprisingly, not with anger in his voice, but with sadness. Lazy a-- Now, I don’t know what kind of day she just had. Maybe her boss called her names. Maybe the baby is sick and she’s worried. And as little as a few months ago, I would have been much more compassionate about trying to figure out how much pain must be inside a person to lead them to do something so nasty. But lately, my take on life’s been getting real simple. It doesn’t matter what kind of day she had. Nothing can possibly justify the way she just spoke to her child. We all have bad days. We all experience pain, and at times revert to repeating unconscious behaviors. That’s part of being human. But there’s more available to us in our human packages. There are things we can do, decisions we can make, standards we can set for our own behavior. And I propose that one of those standards for parents should be that under no circumstances will we allow ourselves to degrade and belittle our children by calling them names. I want to leave the legacy of clear and effective communication to the next generation. I want them to inherit a world where people have the skills to communicate their feelings and needs, and make requests, without belittling others. If they can’t inherit that world, then I at least hope they can inherit the tools and wisdom to create it. And I’m so disappointed to be reminded that all over the country, children tonight will be told in no uncertain terms who they are. Lazy, stupid, cruel, insensitive, incapable. The list goes on and on. Here’s my proposal. (yeah, I know, I’m preaching to the choir. But you guys are here in front of me. I hope you take this message and spread it in your own way out into the world.) Let’s take a collective vow not to pass this toxic garbage on to our kids. If you have a bad day, that’s a real shame, and I’m sorry. Let it die out with you. Don’t dump it on your spouse or your kids or your dog. Clear it out of your body with physical activity, writing, screaming, or venting to a willing listener, not just whoever is unfortunate enough to get in your way. If you cannot resist the temptation to tell your child who he is, then please, tell him good things! This will require a Herculean effort to pause before speaking and check your intention. Is what you are about to say meant to uplift your child? Good. Go for it. Is it meant to control, manipulate, or purge your anger? Zip your lip. Go away. Don’t say it. Simple, but not easy. And no single effort will pay off more in your relationship with your child. Or others of significance in your life, for that matter. Need more convincing? How much longer will that lanky teenage boy tolerate that kind of treatment from his mother? When will he deliver her garbage back to her? Want to bet he’s counting the days until he’s old enough to move away from her and not look back? And how will he treat her if someday she’s dependent upon him for eldercare? It’s said that how you do one thing is how you do everything. So how you talk to your child might be how you are talking to yourself, your coworkers, and your spouse. You all deserve better. Stop. Separate the behavior from the person. State your needs and make a request for a change. Take appropriate action, which is always about you, and never about them. I can’t find that woman out there and tell her what is happening to her relationship with her precious child. Even if I could, there’s no guarantee that this information would lead to a change in her behavior or choices. All I can do is tell you about this, and hope that both you and I can use this bird’s eye view to strengthen our resolve to be the kind of parents who know and do better than that. Copyright Karen Alonge 2005

         
    Stop shoulding on yourself parenting without resentment

     

    : Parenting extroverted children sure can be exhausting for an introvert. Constant noise, questions, chatter. No room in my head to hear myself think. Actually, now that my kids are finally in bed, and I CAN hear myself think, I realize that I’ve been having problems setting boundaries lately. When I have a project to complete or an email to write or a phone call to make, I haven’t been remembering to just say so and declare a certain amount of uninterrupted time for myself. Instead, I try to write with one hand and help with homework with the other. And all I get is tired. It didn’t occur to me before tonight how exhausting it is to fragment my attention. Or maybe it did, and I just forgot. Hey, it happens! Anyway, right on cue, just as I was sitting here writing this, my daughter showed up at the top of the stairs. I had tucked her in an hour earlier, and frankly I was pretty ready to be done with parenting for the night. She whined that she couldn’t get comfortable in her bed. If this had been one of my well-rested and nurturing moments, I might have remembered that there was a big event at school the next day and she was nervous about it. I probably would have gone into her room for a while and helped her settle down. But it wasn’t one of those moments. So I told her in as neutral and loving of a voice as I could muster, “Do the best you can. I know you’ll be fine. I’ll see you in the morning.” The second the words left my mouth I felt guilty, but I was just too wiped out to do anything with my guilt. She slouched back to her room, and I didn’t hear from her again. … until breakfast the next morning. At which point I was well-rested again, so I checked in with her about what was going on the night before. She told me her blankets were all twisted up and she couldn’t fit her feet into her bed. My guilt delivered its verdict with the pound of the gavel ... Bad Mother! But in the next breath she set me free. “Mom, I didn’t know what to do until you helped me. You told me to do the best I could. So I went back upstairs and I figured out how to fix it, and I fell right to sleep.” And she was serious! Wow. All that guilt for nothing!! Turns out that she was fine. Even better than fine — my exhaustion and unwillingness to exert effort on her behalf actually facilitated her accessing her inner resources. The moral of the story: Take care of yourself first, and everything else falls into balance. Don’t let the voice of guilt entice you into overextending yourself on behalf of your kids. Sometimes, the very best thing you can do is refuse to help them, especially if doing so is going to cost you more than you can cheerfully give. Helping a child while feeling resentment does her no favor in the long run! Take care of your own needs first. Go for a walk, take a nap ... do whatever you need to do to get yourself feeling full, happy, and generous again before you engage with your kids. The gifts that you share with your family from your state of fulfillment are the ones that truly nourish and sustain them. Copyright 2005 karen alonge

         
    Stop lying now

     

    Do you have a consistent problem with your child lying to you, even though he or she is normally a “good” child? Sometimes the lies are even about things that don’t really matter or your child continues to lie in the face of overwhelming proof to the contrary? It is my firm belief that we will not end lying behavior in our children until we take away the consequences for telling the truth. This is a concept explored in greater detail within Nancy Buck’s book, Peaceful Parenting®. How many times as a child were you told by your parents that you wouldn’t get into “as much” trouble if only you would be honest and tell the truth? I think this must be a rule in Parenting 101 because almost every parent I know has uttered this inalienable truth at least once with their children. Do you remember what you heard when you were told that as a child? I do. What I actually heard is: if you keep on lying, you are going to really get into trouble. You already lied so you are at pretty high risk of getting into serious trouble. But, if I stick to my story, then there is a possibility there will be no punishment. No one likes to be punished. So it is logical that most children will choose the path that is least likely to result in pain. This, to most children, means the lying route. I am proposing that if you want to decrease your child’s lying, then you need to say, “As long as you tell me the truth, you will not be punished.” This is a huge shift for many of you and you are probably asking yourself, “But what if my child did something that requires punishment---something seriously against the rules?” I still say remove the consequences for lying and you will more likely get the truth. Before you come to this decision, though, you must decide whether or not you really want the truth. A few years ago, I was speaking to the mother of one of my sons’ friends. She was very upset that a boy had stayed at her home and slept on top of the same bed with his girlfriend. Now, this mother was aware that both the boy and girl were sleeping at her house but she did not want them to share a bed. The two disregarded her wishes but felt they were complying with the main issue by sleeping on top of the covers, fully clothed. When the mother discovered them early in the morning, still sleeping, she was livid. She called me to vent her frustration. In her ravings, she said, “Well, I know I did the same thing and worse but at least I had the decency to lie to my parents!” I asked her if she really preferred being lied to and she responded affirmatively. Now, if you are a parent who would really rather not know, then this article is not for you. I am writing to those parents who want to know the real truth about what is going on with their children and who can handle the truth when presented with it, rather than feeling the urge to punish their child. My sister-in-law came to me for advice in dealing with her 11 year-old daughter who has developed a lying habit, particularly around her school work. She tried everything. She had mentioned the universal law: “If you tell me the truth, you won’t get into near as much trouble as if you lie to me”. My niece stuck to her story like glue. Then my sister-in-law began to take away extracurricular activities to hopefully impress upon my niece the importance of her school work. All of this was common sense but what do you think happened to the lying? It continued without impact. When she came to me, I advised her to take away the consequences for telling the truth. She couldn’t believe what I was suggesting she do. Now, I was not saying that she and my niece wouldn’t have a conversation about whatever the problem was. And I wasn’t saying that they wouldn’t make a plan for more effective behavior in the future but there would be no consequence for telling the truth. Even though it’s in the beginning stages, my sister-in-law already reported improvement. All she has to do now is remind my niece that there will no punishment if she tells the truth, and my niece has been coming clean. The advantage to this is that you, the parent, aren’t spending a lot of time attempting to “get to the bottom of things”! You don’t have to play detective and go on a fact-finding mission. You get the truth up front and then you know what it is that you really need to manage. The advantage is that you can take a collaborative approach with your child on how to do it better the next time. You can spend your time discussing what got in the way of your child being successful and how can you, together, remove those obstacles. This is so much more relationship strengthening than trying to figure out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t and then doling out the appropriate punishment for the lie. Wouldn’t you rather put an end to lying and get at the real source of the problem? Try it and see if it helps. But don’t do it if you would prefer not knowing!

         
    Strengthen your child s self esteem

     

    Most parents want their children to have a healthy sense of self-esteem and many believe that low self-esteem lies at the bottom of many of society's problems. Even though self-esteem has been studied for decades, its precise nature and development is still subject to debate. However, child development experts generally agree that parents and other adults who are important to children play a major role in laying a solid foundation for a child's self esteem development. When parents and teachers of young children talk about the need for good self-esteem, they usually mean that children should feel good about themselves. With young children, self-esteem refers to the extent to which they expect to be accepted and valued by the adults and peers who are important to them. Self esteem is so important in young children because it is a self fulfilling prophecy. The more confident children feel about their social, physical and intellectual success then the more likely they will succeed. Conversely, the less confident children feel then the more likely they will fail. Children with a healthy sense of self-esteem feel that the important adults in their lives accept and care about them. They feel that those adults would be upset if anything happened to them and would miss them if they were separated. Children with low self-esteem, on the other hand, feel that the important adults and peers in their lives do not accept or care about them very much. During their early years, young children's self-esteem is based largely on their perceptions of how the important adults in their lives judge them. The foundations of self-esteem are laid early in life when infants develop attachments with the adults who are responsible for them. When adults readily respond to their cries and smiles, babies learn to feel loved and valued. Children come to feel loved and accepted by being loved and accepted by people they look up to. As young children learn to trust their parents and others who care for them to satisfy their basic needs, they gradually feel wanted, valued, and loved. Self-esteem is also related to children's feelings of belonging to a group and being able to adequately function in their group. When toddlers become preschoolers, for example, they are expected to control their impulses and adopt the rules of the family and community in which they are growing. Successfully adjusting to these groups helps to strengthen feelings of belonging to them. Young children are unlikely to have their self-esteem strengthened from excessive praise or flattery. On the contrary, it may raise some doubts in children; many children can see through flattery and may even dismiss an adult who heaps on praise as a poor source of support--one who is not very believable. As they grow, children become increasingly sensitive to the evaluations of their peers. When children develop stronger ties with their peers in school or around the neighborhood, they may begin to evaluate themselves differently from the way they were taught at home. You can help your child by being clear about your own values and keeping the lines of communication open about experiences outside the home. You can also help by teaching your child to socialize well with other children and encouraging interaction with children with similar family values. Children do not acquire self-esteem at once nor do they always feel good about themselves in every situation. A child may feel self-confident and accepted at home but not around the neighborhood or in a preschool class. Furthermore, as children interact with their peers or learn to function in school or some other place, they may feel accepted and liked one moment and feel different the next. You can help in these instances by reassuring your child that you support and accept him or her even when others do not. Self-esteem is most likely to be fostered when children are esteemed by the adults who are important to them. To esteem children means to treat them respectfully, ask their views and opinions, take their views and opinions seriously, and give them meaningful and realistic feedback. A child's sense of self-worth is more likely to deepen when adults respond to the child's interests and efforts with appreciation or interest rather than just praise. Respond positively by taking their interests seriously with appropriate encouragement, for example, reading a book about dinosaurs or studying worms in the garden. Young children are more likely to benefit from tasks and activities that offer a real challenge than from those that are merely frivolous or fun. Young children can be given appropriate responsibilities and tasks that make them a part of the community or family. You can help your child develop and maintain healthy self-esteem by helping him cope with defeat as well as success. In the moment of failure remind your child that you still love and support him. Later, when the initial emotional response has passed talk with your child about the situation. Sometimes, it is important to point out that most people are not good at everything they try. Or perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from a mistake or lack of preparation. Teaching children to work past the small disappointments and troubles of childhood can help them handle the greater challenges life will throw in their path. As a parent, you play a primary role in the development of your child's sense of self worth and that sense of self will play a crucial role in your child's future success. Showing your child that you value and care for her and helping her learn to value herself can go a long way to building that important sense of self esteem.

         
    Stutter in child

     

    When a child starts to develop a stutter, it comes as a shock to everyone involved. It can be a very stressful time for both the parents and for the child. I myself developed a stutter at the age of four or five. My mother had left work to look after me when I was born and I started to talk as normal. Everything was fine until I started school. My mother - who now had more time on her hands, decided to re-start work and I would now be going to a friend of the families after school. This friend was called Jean and she had a son my age called Graham. On the first day I spent at her house everything was going well until Jean called us in for our evening meal. Meal times at my own house were a very relaxed affair, we were able to eat our food wherever we wanted to in the house. At Jean's house they ate in a dining room around a dining table. There were a lot of people around the table who I did not know very well and eating in front of them all, made me feel quite uncomfortable. During the meal people were asking me various questions and for whatever reason, I found it difficult to answer and started to stutter. This was the first day of my life as a person who has a stutter. My parents a few months later took me to speech therapy, the speech therapist advised them that most children will grow out of their stutter. I continued unfortunately to stutter until I was twenty two. At this stage I decided I had had enough and that it was time to overcome the stutter. I decided to try and find my own stuttering solution. I went about this by reading books about self confidence as I certainly had a low self esteem. I also studied people who I believed were very good talkers and tried to work out how the spoke differently than me, for example the way they breathed. After nearly a year I was proud to be able to class myself as fluent and as a career I now help other people to achieve fluency.

         
    Stuttering child

     

    Children can develop a stutter at an early age and for the parents it can be a very worrying time. It is difficult to know what to do. Parents wonder if it is just an age thing or just a phase. They think about whether to take their child to some form of speech therapy, however worry that that might be an over-reaction. I myself developed a stutter at the age of four or five. My mother had left work to look after me when I was born and I started to talk as normal. Everything was fine until I started school. My mother who now had more time on her hands decided to re-start work and I would now be going to a friend of the familys after school. This friend was called Jean and she had a son my age called Graham. On the first day I spent at her house everything was going well until Jean called us in for our evening meal. Meal times at my own house were a very relaxed affair, we were able to eat our food wherever we wanted to in the house. At Jean's house they ate in a dining room around a dining table. There were a lot of people around the table who I did not know very well and eating in front of them all itself made me feel quite uncomfortable. During the meal people were asking me various questions and for whatever reason, I found it difficut to answer and started to stutter. This was the first day of my life as a stutterer. My parents a few months later took me to speech therapy, the speech therapist advised them that most children will grow out of their stutter. I continued unfortunatelt to stutter until I was twenty two. Stephen Hill

         
    Stuttering toddler

     

    For a parent, it is a big shock when their young toddler starts to stutter. What to do next is hard to decide, whether to seek help from a stutter specialist or to hope it is just a phase. I met a lady who was thirty and her little boy aged four had had a stutter for quite a while. She had taken him to speech therapy and was extremely anxious as to why he had started to stutter. It had possibly started because the toddlers father had quite a severe stutter, the boy may of picked up his stutter this way. Many other people contact me asking why their toddler has developed a stutter and asking what forms of stutter treatments are available. I always suggest that they keep as patient as they can and try to play games, speech games with their child. They can challenge the child to say the word fluently, they show their child how it should be said and then challenge them to do the same. When they do manage to say that particular word fluently they then heap lots of praise onto the child, telling them how clever they are and how proud mommy and daddy are of them. I even advise giving them a reward like a small chocolate bar. If instead of being patient, parents or relatives are aggressive, saying things like: "Get your words out boy" "Spit it out!" These types of comments can have a very negative effect and make that child withdraw into their shell. This may to some people seem very obvious to say, however you would not believe the amount of people who have told me this is what they were told as an infant. I had a stutter myself from the age of four. I went to see many speech therapists who offered me advice which basically consisted of slowing down my rate of speech and to take a deep breath before I spoke. This did not really work for me and I have to admit my attitude was not what it should have been as I believed that it was impossible for the therapist to understand what I was going through as they had never had a stutter. After coping with the speech impediment for eighteen years I had had enough and went about trying to find my own stuttering solution. It took me nearly a year to beat the stutter and as a career I now help other people to achieve fluency.

         
    Sugar and spice dressing up little girls

     

    : I admit it - I'm a total sucker for sugar and spice baby girl clothing. Give me lace and roses, hand-crocheted pinafores, add hand-smocked bodices and I'm in heaven. I've raised two little girls and had a hand in half a dozen nieces, and I'm here to warn you, ladies. If you love dressing up your little girl in ribbons and lace, indulge yourself as much as you can when she's a baby - because it won't be long before she's choosing her own clothes. And honestly, the frilly styles I love just don't suit the average active toddler. So -- get it out of your system when she's a baby - and take lots and lots of pictures.Just for mothers like me, here are five classic looks for smartly dressed baby girls that will ensure that your little angel will never be mistaken for a boy - till she starts dressing herself, at least.Hand-Smocked Polly Flinders DressesThere is nothing in this world that says 'little girl' quite like a hand-smocked Polly Flinders dress. I was lucky enough when my youngest was an infant to find an entire box full of vintage 1950s Polly Flinders dresses, and buy them for a dollar apiece. If you're not familiar with hand-smocked clothing or Polly Flinders, let me give you an idea of what a bargain this is: a search for Polly Flinders dresses this morning turned up a few dozen dresses, including several vintage dresses from the 50s and 60s. The prices ranged from $45 to $175.The Sailor SuitWhat do you get when you cross red satin ribbons, navy blue pin-dotsand a white embroidered collar? Add a pint-size sailor's cap embellished with a satin ribbon and you have one of the most popular little girl baby dresses ever made - a very feminine twist on a little boy's sailor suit. It was one of the classic styles of the 1940s, and never goes out of style.Ruffled PinaforesIt's a classic Alice in Wonderland little girl pretty - a gingham checked dress with puffed shoulders and a ruffled hem peeking out from beneath a starched pinafore. Pinafores started out as 'aprons' to help save the fancy dress beneath, but soon took on a style of their own. They slip on from the front, and button or tie at the back, and are meant to be worn over an under dress. Ruffled hems and shoulders and dainty embroidery are just a few of the things that make this classic baby clothing style special.Ruffled PantiesVery little in this life is more adorable than rows of ruffled lace peeking out from beneath the hem of a smocked baby dress. Ruffle-bottomed diaper covers and fancy little embroidered bottoms that are meant to peek out beneath a dress are another of those classic baby girl looks that never age.Velvet and Taffeta RosesWhat's the well-dressed baby girl wear on Christmas? Taffeta and velvet, with lace and roses at the waist of course. Be traditional with a red velvet bodice and ruffled plaid taffeta skirt, complete with a tiny satin rose at the lace-trimmed collar - or let your bolder side out and dress your little darling in black velvet and pink satin. My own favorite of all time was a pearl gray velvet dress with a white taffeta skirt accented with a full-blown satin bow in baby-soft pink.

         
    Summer safety tips for children

     

    Summer is a fun time, but it’s also a time when a lot of accidents happen. Here are some ways to keep your children safe this summer. Water safety. If you have a pool or plan to be around the water at all, then make sure you’ve got all security devices in place. All gates must be locked, and alarms installed, especially if you have non-swimming children at home. Some general simple rules for children around any body of water are: 1. No running or horseplay near the pool. 2. Kids only swim with an adult watching them. 3. Make sure your children are taking swim lessons that teach, not only the basic strokes, but also survival strokes and basic water safety as well. All American Red Cross certified programs incorporate water safety into their swim lessons. 4. Of course, if lightening is possible, leave the water until the weather risk passes. 5. If your children are swimming in the ocean, follow the flag warnings and be cautious of the tides. Sun safety. No matter how old we are or how careful we are, that sun will surprise us and we’ll suffer a burn. Some simple rules to keep your children safe in the sun are: 1. Always apply sun screen – even if it’s a cloudy day. 2. Have your kids wear a t-shirt and hat if they have fair skin. 3. Make sure you have water proof sunblock on your kids if they’re in the water. 4. Apply sunscreen often, especially if your kids have fair skin or are playing in water. 5. Provide your children with plenty of water, juice, or popsicles. Keep them hydrated to help prevent heat stroke. Bicycle safety. Some simple rules to keep your children safe on their bikes are: 1. A helmet is a must. Ask any nurse in any Emergency Room and you’ll find out why. 2. If you’ve got a child who daydreams, wear a whistle around your neck when you go on a bike ride together. If you see him or her being unsafe, you can blow the whistle. This is much more effective than trying to yell. 3. Look for bike paths in the woods. These allow your child to ride freely without the hazards of traffic. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. So many life-changing accidents are preventable. Make it a safe -- and a fun summer!

         
    Surrogacy finding a surrogate mother

     

    Once you have made the difficult decision to turn to a surrogate mother to help you have a family, it can be hard to know what to do next. You will have spent a long time considering the emotional implications on yourself and all the other people involved, but now you may be unsure about the practicalities of surrogacy. The first thing to decide, with a medical professional, is what type of surragacy you will need. For instance, artificial insemination is an option for couples in which the woman has lost, or never had enough, egg cells. The surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with sperm from the male partner. The child will therefore by genetically related to the surrogate mother and the male partner. In order for the intended mother to be legally recognised as a parent of the child she will have to adopt the baby once it is born. It is highly important to sign a legal agreement with the surrogate, saying that she will give the baby to the intended parents. Sometimes, the intended parents agree to give the surrogate visitation rights – but all these details should be arranged before the birth. Another surrogacy option available, depending on the cause of infertility, is gestational surrogacy. This technique combines the sperm and egg cells from the intended parents in the hope of creating an embryo – in the same way that IVF does. The embryo or embryos are then transferred to the surrogate womb. Whichever method you use, the choice of surrogate mother will be a difficult, but also exciting, decision. Some couples have a surrogate in mind, such as a close friend or family member. Such independant arrangements have the benefits of a greater level of understanding between the planned parents and the surrogate, and an oppertunity for the surrogate to stay in touch with the child. It is also considerably cheaper than going through an agency. However, remember that you will need to stick to the same legal protocal as you would with a stranger. The contract should still be drawn up by attornies representing both parties. The person you choose and their partner will have to undergo medical testing, and you should agree any behaivor modifications before hand. You should be prepared for your relationship with the person to change during the pregnancy and after the child is born. A surrogacy agency is another solution. Whilst it may feel odd involving a stranger in such a personal experience, it is reassuring to know that the women involved have volenteered to help people like you, and have undergone vigorous checks. A good agency will keep you informed through all the stages of your application. You will have to give detailed information on your medical and psychological history – but so will your potential surrogate. Experienced co-ordiators will find a surrogate whose situation is compatible with your needs. As your nearest specialist centre may be a long way away, the internet is a good tool for preparing in advance of your application and meetings with potential candidates. Things to check out include: what the centre requires from a surrogate (in terms of health, age, previous births and psycological profile), what legal issues you need to think about and how much the whole experience will cost. Think long and study hard to find out what is best for you, and you will have prepared yourself for a successful surrogate pregnancy.

         
    Survey moms feel need to foster kids creativity

     

    Swim lessons and summer camp aren't the only activities that parents will encourage their kids to take on this summer break. According to mothers of grade-school-aged children surveyed by Parenting® magazine's MomConnections®, more than 75 percent of moms say they feel responsible for fostering their kids' creativity. Creative Products Cheryl Wilbur, market researcher at Parenting magazine, says, "For the last couple of years, we have been seeing a trend toward mothers embracing and purchasing simple yet effective creative tools that allow their children's imaginations to soar." Mothers are looking for supplies that help unleash their kids' creativity, and the basics are winning out. The Parenting magazine survey reported that nearly one-fifth of mothers purchase paint and more than one-fourth purchase markers to aid their kids' creative inspiration. Parents won't have to look far this summer in their pursuit for new, easy-to-use arts and crafts products for kids and teens on the go. Products such as Elmer's Paintastics™ Paint Brush Pens work like a marker but include a brush applicator that can mix paint colors and won't dry out. The thin brush tip allows kids to write or paint with fine lines or broad strokes. Paintastics also put parents' typical concerns about painting to rest-the paint is contained in the brush, dries instantly and is nontoxic and washable. Summertime Activities So how can parents foster creativity? Elmer's arts and crafts product expert Michelle Manning suggests the following activities to help parents elicit that creative spark in their kids while also getting quality time together. • Photography classes: Summer is the perfect time to photograph nature. Frame and display the photos or use them as inspiration for a painting or sketch. Get creative with the mediums. Use charcoals, acrylics, pastels, Paintastics or mix mediums. • Symphonies in the park: With good weather comes music in the park. Check with a local symphony or orchestra for upcoming performances. • Personalized postcards: Make one-of-a-kind postcards on summer road trips with glue sticks, markers, paints, buttons, ribbons, stamps or whatever elicits creativity. • Journaling: Create a wonderful memento by writing and designing a journal cover about the summer.

         
     
         
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